Burnley moved up to eighth in the Premier League and are now right in contention for a European finish after defeating Crystal Palace 1-0 last night.
The only goal of the game came from an unlikely source as Ben Mee, scoring his first goal since January 2017, gave the Clarets all three points with a second half header (as per Sky Sports).
The long-serving centre-half, making his 300th appearance for the club, was able to take some rare headline plaudits, although the contribution of the man alongside him at the back was certainly worthy of recognition as well.
James Tarkowski, who like his centre-back partner has played every minute of Burnley’s league campaign so far (as per WhoScored), followed up an assured display against Watford last Thursday with another excellent performance at Selhurst Park.
The 27-year-old has averaged 5.1 successful headers per game this season and he maintained that average last night, coming out on top in five aerial duels against the Eagles. He also won four tackles and made five interceptions as well as eight clearances on a night when he was at his imperious best, Roy Hodgson’s side being frustrated time and again by the Manchester native. [via WhoScored]
Aside from last week’s 5-0 mauling by a rampant Manchester City, Tarkowski has helped Burnley to a stellar defensive record of just two goals conceded in the other seven of their last eight Premier League games (as per TransferMarkt).
Who was Burnley's best player against Crystal Palace?
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His performance rightfully drew praise from some reporters covering the match last night. Burnley Express writer Dan Black said that he was “dominant in the air, nicked the ball time and time again when it was fed into his opponent and cut out everything Palace played into the penalty area”. Alex James of Lancashire Live hailed “another strong defensive performance with a couple of key challenges and headers” from the 27-year-old, who “looks supremely fit at the moment and in tremendous form”.
Mee took the glory while Tarkowski was as diligent and uncompromising as ever at the back. It was a terrific night for Burnley in south London, especially for both members of their evergreen centre-back duo.
Burnley fans, how impressed were you with Tarkowski’s display at Selhurst Park? Comment below with your views!
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